“This one, he is incredible”: a professional scammer still runs in France despite a heavy judicial past

“This one, he’s amazing”, confided at the time of one of his arrests someone close to the case. “Christophe Rocancourt next door, it’s gnognotte!” A professional scammer, who calls himself James Jacob Kempinsky, is on the run and has disappeared from police radars since his last stay in prison but continues to crack down, France Bleu Provence reported on Tuesday July 27. At 30, the one who calls himself “JJK” has forty entries in his criminal record but nothing to envy the crook of the stars. He has victims all over France. “Given his way of being and his ambitions, he will do anything to earn more money and to live with even more glitter”, entrusted to France Bleu Provence Major Yann Zint, one of the first police officers to have confronted him, in October 2019, after a banal road check in Fréjus. “He will continue all his life!”

France Bleu Provence has been contacted by a worried father about a relationship one of his daughters has with a man who calls himself James Jacob Kempinsky. When his daughter met James in 2020, on a bench in the Tête d’Or park in Lyon, he told her that he was leaving the hospital after a heart operation which had required eight months of rehabilitation. The young man claimed to be 39 years old and claimed to be heir to the Kempinsky family, which he said owned 75 luxury hotels around the world. “He talks about his private jet, his life in the United States, the fact that he lost his parents”, confides the father. The young woman is under the spell.

During this relationship, “JJK” planned to partner with a duo of business leaders from the Rhône who were to launch software, but this project never came to fruition. “One of our IT people alerted us right away that something was wrong, but James managed to rule it out”, tells France Bleu Provence one of the two young entrepreneurs who wishes to remain anonymous. “We believed him at first. He had such a brilliant analysis. He knew what he was talking about. Real wasted talent. He could quite make money by working honestly, but that’s no choice. that he has done.” The entrepreneurs finally thanked the young man and filed a handrail against him in order to protect their interests.

James Jacob Kempinsky is indeed not at his first attempt. If he is known to the police, it is because he was unmasked after this road check in Fréjus in October 2019. “He drove his companion’s car, a German sedan, spoke very well and had everything going for him: insurance, an incredible patter … except papers”, he recalls. “When I pointed out to him that he did not seem to be 38 as he claimed, he replied that they were all very young in his family. He said he had his papers stolen. in Cannes and that, in fact, he intended to file a complaint. I sensed something abnormal and I told him that I was accompanying him to the police station to take care of his complaint. “

At the police station, the fingerprints of the young man ultimately refer to another identity: Aurélien A., born in Armentières, only 28 years old and who accumulates offenses such as license defects, scams, or even numerous vehicle thefts. … Before his road stops at Fréjus, the young man passed through Bordeaux and Nice. He was also sentenced to prison in Paris in 2012, then in Grenoble in 2015. It is this heavy judicial past that ended up sending him to prison after his road check. If he comes out in May 2020 after eight months of detention, it is thanks to the woman who accompanied him in the German sedan during his arrest.

He has such a hold that even the women with whom he had relationships find it difficult to let go. The one with whom he was at the time of his control in Fréjus, discovered that he had another life in parallel with a model in Cannes with whom he was to marry. Despite everything, she went to see him in prison and served as his moral guarantee to get out faster.

A source close to the case


“JJK” also succeeds in being recommended to be introduced to many social cocktails and to interest ambitious entrepreneurs, such as the Lyon duo. The path he invented for himself on his Facebook profile shows a baccalaureate obtained at a French high school in a city in the United States in 1994. However, he was only four years old at that time. According to this same CV, he obtained a doctorate in Boston 2000 and then became a consultant for the US government in 2009. In fact, he did not obtain more than a college diploma. He also claims to be American-Swiss, native English speaker, bilingual in Chinese. The con artist also claims to be a child of the Holocaust and is said to be fluent in Hebrew. The police officers who arrested him in October 2019 also remember a particular accent that he therefore seems to have worked on.

Today James Jacob Kempinsky is free and not wanted by the police. What worries those familiar with the matter is that he seems to learn as he goes through his incarceration and that he no longer makes the same mistakes.

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